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Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L III

See my wish lists at B&H Photo including my Canon wish list.

Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L III

The Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L III is in my hands. I’ll be shooting it starting in a few days on a trip to the (now snowy) Sierra Nevada and White Mountains.

Review of the Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L III is/will be in DAP.

The Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L III (about $2199) is the 3rd generation of a workhorse ultra wide angle zoom. The original was a modest performer, v2 was fairly good but unexciting, but v3 is much more expensive and looks to have much stronger efforts made for image quality.

  • EF-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/2.8 to 22
  • Three Aspherical & Two UD Elements
  • Subwavelength & Air Sphere Coatings
  • Ring-Type Ultrasonic Motor AF System
  • Internal Focus; Full-Time MF Override
  • Fluorine Coating on Exposed Elements
  • Dust- and Water-Resistant Construction
  • Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm

Combined with the Canon 11-24mm f/4L, the 11-35mm range can be covered with higher quality than ever before on Canon bodies. My personal view is that the 11-24mm plus 24-70mm range is the best combination (11mm to 70mm coverage), but 16-35mm serves as a compromise from very wide to slightly wide in a single lens.

Canon’s summary

See also the Canon 16-35mm lens page. The 50-megapixel Canon 5DS R is extremely demanding (even Zeiss Otus shows weakness), so field shots will have to establish the actual optical merits, including assembly quality and tolerances that must be extremely tight to perform well at 50 megapixels (or 30MP).

The EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM is an indispensable ultra wide-angle zoom lens for professional and enthusiast photographers who demand superlative operation and performance, in virtually any condition. Its 16-35mm focal range provides superb control of perspective, helping you capture pictures and movies with amazing, dramatic compositions limited only by your imagination.

Looking to take things up a notch, Canon's EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM Lens embraces a revamped optical design with modern coating technologies that promise improved outer and corner sharpness along with minimal distortion and enhanced peripheral illumination. A member of Canon's legendary L series, this full-frame 16-35mm delivers outstanding image quality and a professional-grade durability. It also offers a fast and constant f/2.8 maximum aperture for consistent performance and light transmission throughout the zoom range.

With the incorporation of two large diameter GMO dual surface aspherical elements and one ground aspherical element, the lens will minimize distortions throughout the zoom range as well as maintain edge-to-edge sharpness and illumination. Along with those elements, the lens utilizes two Ultra-low Dispersion glass elements which minimize chromatic aberrations. Also, it uses both a Subwavelength Coating and an Air Sphere Coating to minimize flare and ghosting.

In terms of handling, the 16-35mm uses a ring-type USM focusing motor combined with a high-speed CPU and optimized algorithms for lightning fast and accurate autofocus. The lens has an internal focus design and offers full-time manual focus override so users can make tweaks using the physical focusing ring regardless of mode. Along with all of this, the aperture diaphragm uses nine rounded blades to create smooth bokeh.

For professional use, the lens is dust- and water-resistant, using seals throughout to prevent intrusion of particles, especially when shooting in inclement weather. Additionally, it uses a fluorine coating on the exposed front and rear elements to reduce smears and make cleaning easier.

An update to a venerable L-series zoom, the full-frame 16-35mm f/2.8 lens provides an extremely versatile range combined with a fast maximum aperture for excellent performance in a wide range of trying conditions. Version III offers an improved optical design that will provide notable improvements in outer and corner sharpness.

Designed for use with full-frame DSLRs, this optic is compatible with APS-C format cameras as well where it will provide a 25.6-56mm equivalent focal length range.
Constant f/2.8 maximum aperture offers consistent performance and excellent light transmission throughout the zoom range.

  • Two large-diameter GMO dual-surface aspherical elements and one ground aspherical element help to minimize distortions throughout the zoom range in order to maintain edge-to-edge sharpness and illumination.
  • Two UD lens elements are used to minimize chromatic aberration in the outer area at wide-angle; as well as eliminates color blurring around the edges of the subject, for images with high resolution and contrast.
  • Both a Subwavelength Coating (SWC) and an Air Sphere Coating (ASC) have been applied to lens elements to reduce backlit flaring and ghosting for maintained light transmission and high contrast in strong lighting conditions.
  • A ring-type Ultrasonic Motor (USM), along with an internal focusing system, high-speed CPU, and optimized AF algorithms, are employed to deliver fast, precise, and near-silent autofocus performance.
  • Full-time manual focus operation is available for fine-tuning of your focus position when working in the AF mode.
  • A weather-resistant design protects the lens from dust and moisture to enable its use in inclement conditions. Additionally, fluorine coatings have also been applied to the front and rear lens elements for further protection against fingerprints and smudging.
  • Nine rounded diaphragm blades contribute to a pleasing out of focus quality that benefits the use of shallow depth of field and selective focus techniques.


One has to wonder why Canon offers only a one-year warranty on its high-end lenses when Nikon offers a whopping five (5) years on similar lenses.

Specifications for Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM
Focal length: 16-35mm
Construction 16 elements in 11 groups
2 large diameter GMO dual surface aspherical elements and 1 ground aspherical element
2 Ultra-low Dispersion glass elements
Subwavelength Coating and an Air Sphere Coating to minimize flare and ghosting.
Diaphragm: 9 blades, rounded
Aperture scale: f/2.8 - f/22
Focusing range: 11.02 in / 28 cm
Magnification: 1:4.5 = 0.22x
Angle of view: 8° 10' - 63°
Filter thread: 82mm
Features: weather resistant, high grade optical performance and construction
Weight (nominal): 27.87 oz / 790g
Weight (to the gram as weighed): 855g with hood and caps, 788g lens alone
Dimensions: Approx 3.48 x 5.02 in / 88.5 x 127.5 mm
Street price: about $2199
Includes: E-82 II 82mm Lens Cap
Lens Dust Cap E (Rear)
EW-88D Lens Hood
LP1222 Lens Pouch
Limited 1-Year Warranty


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